Friday, February 8, 2013

SDN: Nothing New Here, Move Along

SDN is a new disruptive technology with great potential to move the networking industry forward.  What’s not new is the industry forces “new disruptive technologies” face.   Here’s we are talking classic “S-Curves” and classic Gaussian market adoption as illustrated below.

The existing technology, HDN, is well establish and far along the Gaussian adoption curve.   Service providers, large enterprises and all the way to the home user have adopted IP networks.  They are well understood technically, financially and organizationally.  Each of these creates barriers to adoption.  A new technology, SDN, faces that same challenges other new technologies. 

A direct historical example was the adoption of IP within the service provider market.  TDM was well established. It  had 99.999% availability, it supported 100’s of millions of end points, it had trained organizations to support it (unions) and it generated $100 of billions in revenues.   Whether you lived in the tornado (ala Geoffery Moore) or not, it’s easy to imagine the anti-inertia throughout the organization.   The same forces exist(ed) in the Cable industry.  For years they loathed terms such as “IPTV” and “IP NGN”.  [Even though VOD was IP to the QAM.]

Business and marketing professionals at all levels of organizations need to remember this.

SDN is facing these same anti-inertia forces.  Nothing new here.  

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